WV KISRA Promotes Workplace Wellness to Prevent Chronic Diseases

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Submission Date: May 2021

Entry Type: Case Study

State/Territory Submitted on the Behalf of: West Virginia

States/Territories Involved: West Virginia

Funding Source: CDC

CDC Funding:


CDC Funding (Specified):

(1305) State Public Health

Other Funding:

Local funding

Domain Addressed:

Environmental Approaches

Public Health Issue:

  • According to the State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2017, West Virginia has the second highest rate of obesity in the nation.
  • Since most full-time working adults spend time at work, effective workplace programs and policies can help reduce obesity and improve chronic disease outcomes.
  • West Virginia small employers need resources and programs that will support worker’s healthy diets and regular physical activity while at work. A healthy diet combined with physical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Project Objectives:

  • Improve CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard from one year baseline results
  • Offer healthy options at meetings and trainings
  • Encourage all KISRA staff to participate in the following:
    • American Heart Association Check.Change.Control high blood pressure prevention program
    • One month walk campaign (goal 10,000 steps per day)
    • Take the Stairs Challenge (post signs by elevators & stairs)
    • Attend health fair to assess chronic disease risk factors & create goals

Program Action:

  • Encouraged all KISRA staff to:
    • Participate in the American Heart Association Check.Change.Control high blood pressure prevention program;
    • To increase their daily steps to 10,000 steps per day;
    • To take the stairs instead of using elevators; and
    • To attend a health fair to assess chronic disease risk factors & set wellness goals.
  • Offered American Heart Association Mobile Kitchen cooking classes on cooking healthy meals with less sodium
  • Implemented Lunch & Learn sessions on wellness topics such as walking groups, Know Your Numbers, & portion control


  • KISRA increased the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard score by five points.
  • Staff said they enjoyed the AHA Mobile Kitchen Cooking Classes and showed excitement about cooking meals with less sodium & learning to monitor blood pressure. The cooking class was featured in local news. Many said they appreciated the Lunch & Learn topics and new knowledge on wellness.
  • KISRA developed and shared a healthy meeting food and beverage pledge and developed a “how to guide” based on wellness program and lessons learned to share with other worksites
  • Other results:
    • 70% of employees participated in the NRG workplace program
    • 50% of employees participated in Check.Change.Control
    • 60% of employees participated in campaign log (includes numbers of steps)
    • 50% of employees participated in the health fair

Challenges/Lessons Learned:

  • Getting all leadership & staff to “buy in” and participate is key to the success of worksite wellness programing.
  • Some staff saw the benefits and appreciated the efforts being made while others complained. We had to make sure we worked to accommodate the needs of both.
  • It’s important to empower the workplace wellness committee to assist more and take the lead on some activities, challenges and events.
  • CDC Workplace Health Model and resources are useful, and include a built-in process for quality improvement, creating a culture of health, and sustaining workplace wellness programs.

Next Steps:

  • Present project, lessons, learned, resources during Try This WV 2018 Breakout session: Creating a Workplace Wellness Program on a Shoestring
  • Promote worksite wellness and KISRA wellness resources at exhibit table showcasing NRG
  • Analyze data collected on blood pressure readings (Check Change Control & One Community Online Portal) to assess changes in blood pressure
  • Evaluate the wellness program and reassess worksite wellness strategies using CDC worksite scoring and workplace framework

Primary web link for more information:
Program Areas:

Worksite Health

State Contact Information:

LaTausha Taylor (ltaylor@kisra.org)/Jessica Wright (jessica.g.wright@wv.gov)
KISRA Workplace Wellness Coordinator/WV Chronic Disease Director

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